Reading PK-3

Direct Instruction: Comprehension Strategies

Overview

When teachers provide explicit instruction in comprehension strategies and model when to use them, students learn how to flexibly apply them to make meaning of texts. By focusing on an individual strategy then combining strategies, teachers can help students know when and how to use different strategies to deepen reading comprehension.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch as this teacher uses a think-aloud to introduce the strategy of finding the main idea. First, she briefly models what she wants students to do, and then students apply the strategy in pairs. After adjusting her instruction based on observation, she has students practice this strategy independently.

  • Students can become more effective readers when they learn and use strategies like summarizing, asking questions, making predictions, making inferences, visualizing, connecting to Background Knowledge, and monitoring comprehension. Using a model like "I do, we do, you do" provides scaffolding that can help students increase Speed of Processing and move strategies from Short-term Memory to Long-term Memory.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • It is important that as students learn new strategies, they have scaffolded support to master and independently apply them. Developers can create programs to include explicit strategies with multiple stages to develop new comprehension strategies.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy